Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/970/26404
From The Socialist newspaper, 8 November 2017
We can win the vote at 16!
16 and 17-year-olds protesting to demand the vote, 3.7.16, photo Ian Pattison (Click to enlarge)
Theo Sharieff, national chair, Socialist Students
The Tories have once again tried their level best to sabotage the futures of young people in Britain. On 3 November, MPs debated a new bill to lower the voting age to 16 in UK general and local elections, as well as referendums.
However, the Tories sabotaged the bill by 'filibustering' it, deliberately giving long speeches in the Commons to waste time and have the debate timed out.
In two years' time, today's 16 and 17-year-olds will be able to vote either way. They will remember who blocked them from having that democratic right.
In spite of this, the Tories had good reason to sabotage the bill. It was young people, after all, who were the driving force behind the Corbyn surge in the June general election.
Up to 67% of 18 to 24-year-olds voted for Corbyn's policies. These included free university and college education, restoring 'Education Maintenance Allowance' further education payments - and, yes, lowering the voting age to 16.
Handing the right to vote to 16-year-olds would ensure the end of their already weak and divided government. And once they're out, what young person would want them back in?
But we don't need to wait for five years to see Corbyn's policies become a reality. Since the general election, the Tories have already been forced into retreats over a number of issues, and are in the throes of yet another scandal.
School, college and university students should join Socialist Students' national day of action on 22 November. Organise a walkout on your campus in protest against the Tories' sabotage of the democratic right to vote.
Actions like this, starting on budget day, could help build a movement of workers and young people which can force this already dying government out of office. Along the way, we can win hundreds of thousands of college students their right to vote.
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In The Socialist 8 November 2017:
What we think
'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us
Socialist Party news and analysis
Westminster sexual harassment scandal
Walk out against tuition fees!
Bosses say 217 years to close pay gap - workers' struggle can close it now!
We can win the vote at 16!
Child poverty set to hit 5.2m - unions and Corbyn must act now
PFI privateers dodge tax
What we saw
Workplace news and analysis
Pay cap decisively rejected by PCS union members
BA mixed-fleet workers show strikes get results
Unite union sector conferences: coordinate action over pay
Picturehouse strike: "evil corporations are evil"
Arriva bus strike still solid
International socialist news and analysis
US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters
Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'
Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class
Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution
Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Health campaign discusses strategy to save NHS
Chatsworth neuro-rehab ward still open - unions join the campaign
Housing campaigners ask Corbyn to instruct Labour council regeneration ballots
Thousands march in London for Palestine
Opposition to new academy school being built on Leeds playing fields
Orgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march
Sheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison
Brum meeting celebrates centenary of 1917
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
Obituary: Derek Robinson, car workers' leader, 1927-2017
Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict
Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017
The Socialist inbox
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